This one-pan sal­mon dish is dressed to im­press

Hamilton News - - FOOD - Bon­nie S. Benwick,

A sauce can make or break a dish — a com­po­nent so im­por­tant that it mer­its its own pan, culi­nary school cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and cook­books. But in this 20-minute recipe, it’s a sim­ple en­ter­prise: a lit­tle but­ter, a lit­tle gar­lic, a ju­di­cious amount of half-and-half and fresh herbs.

Rose­mary and thyme do dou­ble duty here, coat­ing each bite-size help­ing of sal­mon so they pro­vide tex­ture and flavour, and then a last-minute toss of chopped pars­ley height­ens all those herby aro­mas.

The fish fin­ishes cook­ing in the pan sauce, and be­fore you know it, you’ve cre­ated some­thing pretty spe­cial for a week­night.

We liked serv­ing with pota­toes (read to the end of the recipe), but you could add a few hand­fuls of fresh spinach while the sauce is bub­bling in­stead. If you have leftovers, com­bine the chilled saucy sal­mon pieces with crunchy veg­eta­bles or cold pasta for a ter­rific lunch.

CREAMY HERBED SAL­MON

A lit­tle spe­cial treat­ment with an easy yet el­e­gant pan sauce makes the sal­mon ex­tra ten­der.

Serve with boiled or roasted small pota­toes. Adapted from Nigel Slater’s The 30-Minute Cook.

Leaves from 2 big stems fresh rose­mary

Leaves from 2 or 3 stems fresh thyme

1 clove gar­lic

500g skin-on sal­mon fil­lets, prefer­ably cen­ter-cut pieces 3 Tbsp un­salted but­ter

1⁄4 cup half sea salt Freshly ground black pep­per Leaves from 2 stems fresh pars­ley Half a lemon Finely chop the rose­mary and thyme leaves; to­gether is okay. Spread them on a plate.

Mince the gar­lic. Cut the sal­mon into 4cm pieces. Press the flesh sides of each one into the herbs to coat. (They won’t be com­pletely cov­ered.)

Melt the but­ter in a medium non­stick skil­let over medium heat. Once its foam be­gins to sub­side, add the gar­lic and cook for about 30 sec­onds, un­til fra­grant. Add the herbed sal­mon pieces, skin sides down; cook for 2 to 3 min­utes or just un­til the skin gets a lit­tle crisped and you can see the sal­mon turn­ing from dark to lighter pink (and opaque).

The but­ter should be turn­ing brown by now; pour in the half-and-half and stir it in. Sea­son the con­tents of the pan lightly with salt and pep­per; cook for a minute or two, check­ing to see that all the sal­mon is cooked through, then re­move from the heat.

Coarsely chop the pars­ley leaves, then sprin­kle them over the con­tents of the skil­let. Di­vide the sal­mon be­tween plates. Spoon the sauce over the fish, then squeeze the juice of the lemon half over the fish and sauce. Serve warm.

— 2 serv­ings

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